What do you think of the new title of the 5 Things You Can do in 5 Minutes to Get Organized series: Get Neatsmart. It simplifies things, which is always good for me and my goal for you. You, too, can be Neatsmart and get Neatsmart by following these 5 tips to get organized in 5 minutes:
- Put bills in order in your wallet. I learned this way back in my waitressing days when I had to make change for customers out of my own pocket. It would make me cringe to see other waiters pull out a messy pile of bills to make change, knowing that it would be so easy to drop it or confuse a $5 for a $10. Keeping your money organized is essential to being financially responsible. Trust me when I say that the way you keep your wallet says a lot about how you regard money. If you are haphazard in how you store your money, then I’m willing to bet money (yours, not mine) your carelessness is costing you. Just sayin’.
- Keep gift cards in your wallet. They are like cash so keep them in the same place you keep your money. I’ve worked with a lot of clients who keep gift cards in their desk drawers thinking they’ll use the cards when they shop online but they always forget when it comes time to pay. Why? Because they weren’t thinking of going to their drawer to get money; they were pulling out their wallet. This goes back to one of the Neatsmart tenets which is “store like with like.”
- Schedule a time to pay bills. Nothing is worse than needlessly paying late fees. I used to travel a lot and honestly forget whether I’d paid this or last month’s power or phone bills until I’d get their nasty gram that said my service was about to be shut off due to negligence. Whoa, Nelly! That stopped really fast. Either pay bills on the same days each month, say the 15th and 30th or just put each bill’s due date on your calendar. You’ll see that reminder well before the due date and send it in time.
- Get your home organized. What does that have to do with money? My dear, everything. If you don’t know what you have or where things are then how can you know if you need anything new? I realize this will take more than 5 minutes even for the most minimalist person so forgive my squeezing it in here. It’s just easy to buy duplicates and other extras when you don’t know what’s in your home’s drawers and closets. If I had a dime for every time I heard “Oh, I forgot I had that” as we were going through a closet, I’d have a lot of dimes.
- Don’t shop on impulse. Similar to #4 but different in that it’s more emotional. “I want that shirt,” “I need that bag,” “I deserve that new pair of shoes,” and the worst culprit of all “it’s on sale!” All of these may be valid and true but make sure you’re not spending to temporarily make yourself feel better about something. Take 5 minutes, at least, to think about if you really need something or just want it.
Getting and keeping your finances in order is a good starting point to keeping your home and life organized. Start with your wallet and you can build from there.